In Ephesians 5, we learn that we are all to under the authority of someone. Ultimately, we are to be under the authority of God, but in that chapter we see other very real and physical people that we are to answer to. I believe God does that to care for us. When we are under the authority of other strong Christians, we have a much less chance of straying away from the Truth. Think about that for your own life, who's authority are you under and are you living that way?
As for CLT, this passage says that even this organization must be under that authority of someone. Throughout the New Testament, the apostles, pastors, evangelists, etc. were always under someone's authority. There were no lone rangers. Today, when you flip on the television or listen to the radio, you will probably hear Christian ministries that are not really accountable to anyone. They are individuals or small groups of people that are working together in "their" ministry. Even more, there are individuals who go out and sing and go preach week in and week out and they are not really under anyone's authority. They get their own bookings and aren't really tied to a local church.
Read through Ephesians 3 keeping in mind that Paul seems to direct the proclamation of the Gospel and the glorifying of God through the church.
Go ahead, read it now.
Over the next few posts, I would like to think through this question: What is the church? And, if it is that important, what are the implications of a Christian's life in being a part of a church every single day.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Twice in the past couple of days I have been asked, "What is this ministry?" That is a great question. It is a question that I don't have a complete answer on yet. However, I do know that following Jesus Christ should be visible and it should mean something in my life. In fact, it should mean something in everyone's life who says they are a follower of Jesus Christ. From church attendance, to areas and ways of service, to the way you live at home, to the words and tone that you use when you speak to others, to the way you think, to the movies you watch and music you like, etc., being a follower of Jesus Christ should mean something.
I live in the southern part of the United States. I always have. People 'round here know the name of Jesus Christ. Many of them know it well enough to have some sort of reverence for it and some know it well enough to curse by it. How many know it well to live by it? Those that call themselves followers of Jesus Christ should know it well enough to live by it and through it and in it.
That is the essence of Covenant Life Today.
If you call yourself a Christian, how does that affect your life in every aspect of your life? In the Old Testament, the people of the covenant lived by the festivas, the sacrificial schedules and their diet was restricted among other markers of the covenant life. On this side of Jesus' death we have been given freedom. Unfortunately, this freedom has gone so far that in my life, from time to time, I have lived in a way where there was no sign of a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is not what Christ intended when He established the New Covenant by dying on the cross. In the Old Testament an animal was killed for sins. In the New Testament Jesus was killed for sins. That should affect me -- visibly.
How am I living a covenant life today? How are you? This should be interesting as we think through it.